Disability (Mold Allergy) Insufficiently Alleged; ADA Amendment Denied

In Laface v. Eastern Suffolk BOCES, 2020 WL 2489774 (EDNY May 14, 2020) (J. Spatt), the court, inter alia, held that plaintiff did not sufficiently allege that he suffered from a “disability” (here, a mold allergy0 within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

From the decision:

Here, the Court denies the Plaintiff leave to amend the complaint to add claims under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. Throughout the TAC, the Plaintiff makes conclusory allegations that his mold allergy substantially limits his ability to work, breathe, and perform manual tasks. However, he does not expand on those conclusory assertions. See ECF 60-2 at 11 (“[H]e developed a physiological disorder in the form of severe allergies to mold, affecting his respiratory body system, substantially limiting major life activities of breathing and working.”), 28 (“Plaintiff is an individual with a disability under Section 504, as a person with a physical impairment of severe mold allergy which substantially limits one or more major life activities in the form of breathing and working and performing manual tasks.”).

In naming three major life activities, the Plaintiff has supplied a necessary element for surviving the Rule 12(b)(6) standard and stating a prima facie case. However, the Plaintiff’s numerous conclusory statements regarding his disability do not expand on how the disability affects these major life activities. See Eisenberg v. Cty. of Nassau, No. 18-CV-1742, 2019 WL 4247283, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 30, 2019) (“Plaintiff fails to allege any facts showing that the breast cancer and surgeries impaired her ability to perform a major life activity.”). However, this naming is not sufficient to plead a prima facie case.

Courts have yet to establish the extent to which a Plaintiff must allege that his claim that an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. Without ruling on the scope of that additional requirement, the Court rules that the Plaintiff fails to meet it here. The Plaintiff made a dozen nearly identical short references to the major life activities limited by his mold allergy, without any explanation as to how he was so limited.

[Citations and internal quotation marks omitted.]